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   APRIL 2009


* Stop Motion Works is Alive & Well ..... From some of the responses to last week's post here, looks like some of you misintrepreted it. SMW Website or News is not shutting down. You should read more carefully! Others though, correctly understood it, with reference to the periods of slow or not much news related to Stop Motion which is understandable because it has never been a mainstream animation form since the beginning of cinema history all the way to the current New Millenium MySpacey Ipodified Internet era. Some of you sent me topic ideas which is appreciated and our 'editorial staff'  will review them. We have to be selective though so as to appeal to a wide audience. If your news is 'time sensitive' it may be too late by the time it is posted. If news is too specific to your local area, city or town, it would not be relevant to others, although there can be exceptions to our 'SMW News policy'  

* 'Howard the Duck' (1986) Special Edition ..... Seems like minimal mention of this in the the other animation related news/blogs but it appears that this is the first time official 2009 release Dvd with with added featurettes. If you do online search you will get hits and more info. Here are a few to get you going Top 5 reasons to love 'Howard the Duck' - Love Online Video - DVD Movie Guide - Howard the Duck vs. The Dark Overlord  

* 'Mythic Journeys' .... Found a trailer from what appears to be, a just released documentary called 'Mythic Journeys'. It looks like some of the L.A. Underground Stop Moes worked on the Stop Motion animated insert segments. Some names being Michael GranberryThomas R. Smith, the elusive & lurking out there Kelly Mazurowski, Justin Rasch, and a few other's from the Underground Stop Mo Clique in 'Tinsel Town' - 'Mythic Journeys' trailer

* New Addition to Family of Stop Motion software .... This one appears to be for beginner Stop Moes. It works with DV Camcorders or USB Webcams. I do not always have time to test all the programs. They have free trial download if you want to test it, then if you buy, it's about $38. Their website home page is not CLEAR. It should 'specifically state' that this software is for PC/Windows - ZU3D Stop Motion Software EDIT: 04.26.09


* Kind of Dead: Stop Mo News ..... No one having affairs, doing drugs, being busted & jailed, or no one publically flashing their private anatomical parts (like mentally askewed Britney Spears)?? How BORING you all are . If this was POLITICS NEWS, I would possibly shock you with my higher level of TIRADE abilities in which no elected Government Bureaucrats or 'Paper Degreed (supposed) Experts' would dare debate me. I would wipe the floor with their butts , however, I have to somewhat muzzle/censor that side of me, but sometimes it accidentally leaks outs here . Yeah .... mainstream Stop Motion buzz, sort of eerily quiet. Maybe just general overall uncertainty of present and especially future affecting the mood of the country and also worldwide.

The Stop Mo  news was soooo dull (You then say, "How dull was it?"), that the alert services that I subscribed to have been virally spreading this, A Wolf Loves Pork. What the FUG?  How can that get over 800,000 YouTube hits? I am not necessarily trashing it, but it is not that unique or extraordinary. There are a hell of a lot way better representations of Stop Motion out there.  Also, many sites wrongly title  it as 'Stop Motion'. In my view, it is not,  but in a sub-category, more closer to the photo cut-out animation style. Our own ISMC is just beginning to experiment with some of the COOLEST Turbo-charged Harryhausen, but we cannot reveal yet. If we did put it on YouTube, I would guess, the public's ignorance might unfortunately confuse it as CGI.

So you got lazy mouse clicking fingers?? I am not of this Hi-Techy generation and only 'relunctantly' partake of this high tech 'bread & circuses' stuff, but yet, I am more efficient at researching & investigating than you, The New Millenium MySpacey iPodified Generation??  I have to TELL YOU to check out Jeremy Spake, Kevin 'Schmoozing with the Stars' Maclean, and Rich Svennson? You should be frigg'n doing that on your own! Oh well, I am just rambling here. My time is short and I've got things to do, places to go, people to meet. I am so much 'in demand', you know . EDIT: 04.19.09


* Willard Wigan documentary ..... Some brief news buzz last few months about a documentary to be made, based on the true life UK micro sculptor, Willard Wigan. He is dyslexis but has the hyper extreme patience & astounding skills to 'hand create' figure sculptures that can fit inside the eye of a needle! News-bytes unclear if this is inprogress documentary or part of prospectus to sell this project. There are going to be Stop Motion scenes in which one of Willard's micro-sculptures comes to life. It will use replacement stop motion animation, and the bragging rights of studio doing the Stop Motion is, that they will use 3D printing (as used in 'Coraline') to create the replacement animation parts. Hmmm .... the animated puppet character looks relatively simple and I do not know why 3D printing was chosen. It seems, other options could have been chosen using more traditional animation puppet fabrication methods to keep within  the spirit of Willard's handmade techniques of hands-on, tactile 'Art' creation. Into The Microworld - ABC News-byte on Willard - Second Home Productions - Willard Wigan website
* Luke/Tauntaun custom poseable replica ..... This news-byte blog popped up about this but it is confusing who is actually fabricating this puppet (with jointed armature) replica. Guy Cowen or Jim Davidson? Someone else fabricated the Stop Motion armature (outsourced). Whoever is making it, using lots of reference photos from the 'Empire Strikes Back', and so far, it looks like they are doing a pretty damn good job at capturing the 'spirit' of the original Stop Mo puppet (created by Phil Tippett & Crew). Luke/Tauntaun replica - More details & 2 EDIT: 04.14.09


* 'Clash of the Titans' Remake news again: Rehash use of CGI ..... 'Titans' remake has been buzzing around for a few years and more recently last year 2008 when Louis Leterrier was announced as director. In July '08 at a messageboard discussion, Paul J. McConnochie took the lead in putting together a YouTube 'Clash of Titans' remake appeal video, lobbying for the use of State of the Art Stop Motion. Well, with the most current news, it appears that the remake appeal has been ignored by Suits and essentially, any consideration of using some or any Stop Motion, has been 'Spat Upon' and/or 'Killed'. Per some newsbytes, the decision has been made to go 'CGI' . No thinking 'out of the box', fresh, or unique approach or concepts. Who made that CGI order?  Was it done by 'committee'  (aka 'the Studio Suits') or Louis Letterier?

So, Cinesite has been bestowed the privilege to execute the 'Clash' creature CGI special effects. Here is Cinesite's quote, "It's an exciting project to be involved with, and we're looking forward to further developing our creature pipeline to take CG creature animation to the next level of realism." What the HELL is "next level of realism"? More 'real' than 'real'? Sounds like B.S.. Or are they thinking, like watching National Geographics nature documentaries? Just copying & duplicating the real world? My observations: In the Imaginary & Fantasy realm, it is about the Surreal, Unreal or Otherworldly and that 'realism' can be any visual interpretation as dictated by the Creator's-Artist's vision. Modern sophisticated Stop Motion can capture that 'beyond realistic element' that is dream-like. Does anyone at Cinesite TRULY & DEEPLY understand the iconic status of Ray Harryhausen??  He was Creature Effects Cool BEFORE all this current CGI orgy & domination.  Uncle Ray INSPIRED so many of the ol' school special effects trained artists & techs, including the current computer FX 'mouse clickers'.

I can sense the 'Suits' possible marketing & promotion tactics: 'Clash of the Titans' remake is going to ride on the coat-tails of Ray Harryhausen. In other words, Warner Bros & Legendary Pictures are going to get FREE marketing by 'indirect' reference (via the Internet blogs, newsbytes & articles) to the original 'Clash of the Titans' and especially the 'cache power' of the Ray Harryhausen name. Will Legendary Pictures PAY 'Uncle Ray' for USE of his name? As usual, mainstream movies spends and wastes mega-mega millions but the results are becoming so-so mediocre. There is no lasting power (short shelf life) with today's excess of same ol', same ol' homogenized mainstream film entertainment products. I am somewhat getting weary of tirading on this as I've done this before about the Clash remake, SMW News 06.28.08 - SMW News 07.07.08  Here's the latest remake buzz, Cinesite to Provide Creature Effects for Clash of the Titans'Clash of the Titans' picks up James Bond Actors - Clash Of The Titans News

Addendum: Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures Contact Info  Email Contact  If you are angry or upset at the all CGI decision, it would not be difficult to email, fax, or phone them. If they hear nothing, 'Suits' will assume audiences are just ignorant. You can prove them wrong. Surely, it would be very do-able to include some 'State of Art' advanced Stop Motion creature effects cameo shots, which could be blended-in with the other CGI creatures?? EDIT: 04.06.09

*  April SMW Random Cinema:

To CGI pushers who diss Stop Motion as ol' fashioned primitive .... analogy using MUSIC.
Heavy post production manipulated, kind of CGI'ish   'Live Performance' like handmade Stop Motion 
Both versions different but good. Give AUDIENCE Variety of Flavors or Mix it Up. NOT just CGI.


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